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Dallas County minister sentenced after pleading guilty to rape, incest charges


SELMA, Alabama — A former Valley Grande pastor charged with sexually assaulting a family member pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of rape and incest.

William Best received a 20-year sentence for rape and a 10-year sentence for incest, said Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson. Jackson said the two sentences will run concurrently.

Best was the pastor of Living Waters Church in Valley Grande until April 2014 when he was arrested on sex charges involving a minor.

"We feel like he violated her trust and the church's trust and the community's trust being a pastor, and we're glad that we're helping bring some closure to this victim," Jackson said. "These types of cases are very traumatic for victims and you never know how it's going to affect the person for the rest of their life."

Jackson said the acts happened at the church and at home and went on for years.

Jackson said Best pleaded guilty before his trial was set to begin.

"This is someone who counseled people and was supposed to preach the word to his congregation and all the while he was doing these evil acts to his poor, innocent victim," Jackson said.

Best's attorney, P. Vaughan Russell, said his client wanted to spare the victim a trial.

"He wanted to take full responsibility to what occurred without any hints by himself or his lawyers that she was at fault," Russell said.

Russell said Best also is not healthy and is losing his vision due to diabetes.

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